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Kevin Miller

High ISO images and the grainy look

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I recently did a bunch of low light shooting. The images are fine, but they are certainly grainy in look and feel. I seem to recall there was a special submission contract for such images. If that is the case can anyone steer me in that direction. If not, is there a way to make a note that the images are indeed shot in low light with high ISO.

 

Thanks...

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I recently did a bunch of low light shooting. The images are fine, but they are certainly grainy in look and feel. I seem to recall there was a special submission contract for such images. If that is the case can anyone steer me in that direction. If not, is there a way to make a note that the images are indeed shot in low light with high ISO.

 

Thanks...

 

Unless they are Live News you may struggle to get them through the usual QC channel. There is no way of getting them treated differently by advising QC of the high ISO/Noise; they will be judged on their technical merits just like any other images. If you want an opinion on their likely acceptability then you will need to post 100% versions (or at least crops of the noisy areas).

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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There is a route for historical or archive photos but your photos won't be accepted in this category. 

 

There is no facility to leave a note for QC. The only test is whether they meet the image quality standard or not.

 

Martin's  suggestion of uploading a sample to the forum is a good idea.

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If they are reportage - i.e. have editorial merit even if they are of current subjects, they can also go the reportage route. It is meant for images taken under difficult circumstances that are worthwhile but may have flaws. 

 

I can't find the link I was looking for but when you upload images you choose "Archival" and then you'll be able to choose "Reportage."

 

If they are creative images with grain, however, you are probably out of luck.

 

EDIT:

I found the language I was looking for describing reportage vs. archival:

 

Photojournalistic images illustrating a story but captured under difficult circumstances and might not pass our standard QC checks. Examples include photo essays or features.

Edited by Marianne

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Grainy might be OK (please don't quote me, though) but noise definitely won`t be.

 

Unfortunately, there`s only one sure way to find out if they`ll pass QC, and it could come with a cost.

 

Good luck.

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I suspect that QC takes into account the nature of the circumstances, so an action shot in dim light might be viewed more sympathetically than say an over processed blue sky.

 

I would hope that the assessors consider what can reasonably be achieved with current technology. It's a (slowly) moveable feast however, as the latest batch of FF cameras push the boundaries further away from what my ageing crop frame camera can achieve.

 

It's dangerous to look at one example of a passed image, as that one could have slipped through the net.

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Grainy might be OK (please don't quote me, though) but noise definitely won`t be.

 

Unfortunately, there`s only one sure way to find out if they`ll pass QC, and it could come with a cost.

 

Good luck.

 

Isn't it just a matter of grainy for film and noisy for digital?

 

I know that we've discussed this before and you can get noisy photographs through if they appear to be intentionally, rather than just technically poor.

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I always put thats its a high iso shot with grain in the caption as someone may want to buy a photo that shows grain for a book about photography. I use this method when I upload shallow depth of field stating point of focus. It MAY also explain to QC you are aware and still uploaded and that it was shot at high ISO. At the end of the day it will be down to QC

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I always put thats its a high iso shot with grain in the caption as someone may want to buy a photo that shows grain for a book about photography. I use this method when I upload shallow depth of field stating point of focus. It MAY also explain to QC you are aware and still uploaded and that it was shot at high ISO. At the end of the day it will be down to QC

 

 

QC only looks at the image so anything written in the caption will only help prospective buyers but won't help in passing the image. It's just a matter of the judgment of the person who looks at the image.

 

Paulette

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Grainy might be OK (please don't quote me, though) but noise definitely won`t be.

 

Unfortunately, there`s only one sure way to find out if they`ll pass QC, and it could come with a cost.

 

Good luck.

 

Isn't it just a matter of grainy for film and noisy for digital?

 

I know that we've discussed this before and you can get noisy photographs through if they appear to be intentionally, rather than just technically poor.

 

 

Could be, the term "grainy" doesn't make sense with digitally produced images. I always associate grain with film.

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IME "grainy" can be acceptable if its an obvious low-light shot, but it MUST be sharp

 

Kumar

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Grainy might be OK (please don't quote me, though) but noise definitely won`t be.

 

Unfortunately, there`s only one sure way to find out if they`ll pass QC, and it could come with a cost.

 

Good luck.

Isn't it just a matter of grainy for film and noisy for digital?

 

I know that we've discussed this before and you can get noisy photographs through if they appear to be intentionally, rather than just technically poor.

Could be, the term "grainy" doesn't make sense with digitally produced images. I always associate grain with film.

I tend to agree. Grain is the structure of film, noise is just, well, noise. It is random so does not provide "character", the reason film users used to choose one film over another. It is why I preferred Tri-X to HP-5 for example.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Luminance noise can look quite like film grain and from my experience can pass qc if the "grain" is quite fine and uniform and, of course,  focus is spot on. Chroma noise is always a problem with its purple and green speckles if noise reduction can't clear it up. I dont push the iso too hard or get fancy with nr (just use Capture NX2) but up to 3200 with 12mp and 1600 with 36mp this approach works for me.

Any sign of chroma noise would be a fail I reckon as would anything blotchy.

  • Upvote 1

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Would it be acceptable to add grain to black & white images via conversion software like Silver Efex Pro? As a former Tri-X user I always feel that black & white is incomplete without some grain. But would images like that pass QC?

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As has been stated, you would be adding noise not grain. I too shot a lot of Tri-X, and not all grain was the same. Tri-X developed in D-76 tended to clump. I settled on using Acufine, which produced a small, tight, evenly distributed grain that was visible . . . and I thought attractive.

 

I have nothing but contempt for digital black and white. Where is that toxic chemical smell? 

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Just a note, for whatever it's worth.

I submitted an image purposely made to look vintage. Slight sepia tones. I added grain, which was even and attractive. I was quite proud of the result.

QC failed it. I was rewarded with 30 days in the sin bin.

I'm pretty sure I noted all of that either or both in the caption and description.

Pride goeth before a fall. (Fail) ;)

 

Betty

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Just a note, for whatever it's worth.

I submitted an image purposely made to look vintage. Slight sepia tones. I added grain, which was even and attractive. I was quite proud of the result.

QC failed it. I was rewarded with 30 days in the sin bin.

I'm pretty sure I noted all of that either or both in the caption and description.

Pride goeth before a fall. (Fail) ;)

 

Betty

 

So no adding grain, just to be on the safe side.  I guess that makes sense...

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Every single one if these grains passed QC. I counted them first to ensure there weren't too many.

 

deep-shoe-print-in-the-sand-on-a-beach-E

Too funny, Geoff!

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